Ken Loach has accused members of the parliamentary Labour party of trying to “undermine” and “destroy” Jeremy Corbyn.

The film director, whose latest movie Sorry We Missed You tackles the gig economy and zero hour contracts, denied there is division among members of the party around the country but said it was MPs who are seeking to topple the leader.

He told the PA news agency: “The Labour Party is not divided in the country.

Jeremy Corbyn
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (Danny Lawson/PA)

“The Labour Party is in the most curious position, it has a leadership which was elected overwhelmingly by the members, it has got a parliamentary party most of whom became MPs under Blair and Brown, and the leadership has moved 180 degrees away from that politics of privatisation, the illegal war, keeping the trade unions weak, a very right wing government.

“But the MPs represent that politics so they are trying to undermine Corbyn, most of them, and they are at odds with the membership even though the membership are sometimes bullied and persuaded to support them.

“But the members have been largely supportive of Jeremy Corbyn. The parliamentary party has tried to get rid of him and the leadership at the top, a small leadership, is Jeremy and those who stand with him.

“It’s not that the party is divided, it’s the parliamentary bunch doing their best to destroy the Corbyn leadership in many ways.”

Loach also criticised “right wing politicians” who have “no intention” of helping people struggling in the gig economy.

He added: “This is the system they want. They talk about constantly expanding trade, constantly expanding the economy, they talk about the free market.

“The European Union is based on the free market, it’s in the founding documents. Everything that (Boris) Johnson does, and the Tories do, is about facilitating the free market, he’s gone to see Trump and said he will put out the red carpet for American companies, that will increase what we call the gig economy.

“They oppose strong unions or do everything they can to undermine them, which would, with collective bargaining, give us strength to get better wages and conditions and go back to the basic analysis we learned in the 60s, my generation at least, was there are two classes in society – those that own and exploit and those that don’t own and are exploited.

“That has been illustrated so profoundly and dramatically that it’s self evidently true.”

Asked if he would like Tories to see his film, which follows a family buckling under the strain of zero hour contracts, he said: “No I don’t want them to see it, I want us to defeat them. They have got to be beaten, they are not there to persuade. They are beyond persuasion.”

Sorry We Missed You is in UK cinemas on November 1.